Doug Bodin, PhD, ABPP/CN
The following is a description of a postdoctoral training program in pediatric neuropsychology, which is conducted under the auspices of the Department of Psychology, Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Division of Psychology, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University. The training program belongs to the Association for Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN), and is therefore designed to meet the criteria set forth by the Houston Conference on Specialty Education and Training in Clinical Neuropsychology. Thus, it is intended to provide clinical training to produce an advanced level of competence in the specialty of clinical neuropsychology, and is specifically geared toward producing independent practitioner level competence, which includes both clinical and research skills. The goal is to prepare the fellow for a career as a scientist-practitioner in pediatric neuropsychology, preferably through hospital-based practice in a medical school setting.
The primary training site is Nationwide Children's Hospital (NCH) in Columbus, Ohio. NCH houses the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University (OSU). The hospital is one of the largest pediatric facilities in the United States. It is certified as a Level I trauma center and serves as the major pediatric referral center for central Ohio, with a catchment area that extends into West Virginia and Kentucky. The Emergency Department is one of the busiest pediatric emergency facilities in the United States. The hospital serves many children with severe traumatic brain injuries each year. Post-acute care is often provided at the hospital's CARF-accredited Rehabilitation Unit.
The Division of Psychology includes 17 psychologists, who all hold academic appointments in the Department of Pediatrics in the OSU College of Medicine and Public Health. Four of the faculty are neuropsychologists, three of whom are board-certified by ABPPP/ABCN. The division provides a wide array of inpatient and outpatient clinical services, and also supports active research programs. The division houses a predoctoral internship in pediatric psychology and pediatric neuropsycholgy that is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The division also supports a variety of postdoctoral training positions, including fellowships in pediatric neuropsychology. The division also is involved in training graduate practicum students from several local graduate programs.
The program covers a period of 2 years, and consists of clinical, research, and educational activities. Approximately 60% of the fellow's time is devoted to clinical service and supervision, 20-30% to educational activities, and 10-20% to research activity.
The clinical training consists primarily of supervised neuropsychological evaluations of both inpatients and outpatients with various neurological, psychiatric, and developmental disorders. Inpatient referrals are obtained primarily from Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, but also from Neurology and Neurosurgery. Outpatient referrals are also obtained from a variety of medical services, as well as from many outpatient clinics (e.g., Myelomeningocele Clinic) and from community physicians and parents.
In addition to direct examinations of patients, the fellows also provide consultative services to medical teams on the inpatient rehabilitation unit and the inpatient neurosciences unit. These services may include behavior management of children recovering from traumatic brain injuries, brief therapeutic services for patients and families coping with injuries, and consultation with patients presenting with non-epileptic seizures.
The training program provides experience in interdisciplinary clinical services. The fellows will regularly attend weekly interdisciplinary rounds on the inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, and will also participate in clinics on a weekly basis (e.g., Myelomeningocele Clinic, Rehabilitation Clinic, Stroke Clinic, Concussion Clinic, and Epilepsy Clinic). Fellows also participate in the multi-disciplinary Epilepsy Surgery Team, which includes pre-surgical evaluation, cortical mapping, and presentation of results to the surgical team.
The fellows are expected to conduct approximately 2 evaluations per week at NCH, and to bill approximately 14 hours per week for these services. Clinical service and supervision should not constitute more than 65% of the fellow's time on an annual basis.
The fellow is expected to have taken formal courses in research methods and statistics and to have completed an empirical dissertation during their graduate training. Research activities in the postdoctoral training program consist primarily of research collaboration with faculty in the Department of Psychology. The collaboration usually involves ongoing research programs, but can also involve initiation of an independent research project. In either case, the fellow is encouraged to participate in all steps of the research process.
The fellow will ordinarily plan a research project in the field of pediatric neuropsychology by the end of the first year of the training program. The fellow also will be expected to submit abstracts and research papers to appropriate sources for publication, and to present research findings at national professional meetings. Fellows intending to pursue academic careers will be encouraged to prepare and submit at least one application for grant funding. The Department of Psychology will provide limited support for attendance at professional meetings.
Didactic experiences in the postdoctoral training program are both formal and informal. Required activities include a weekly Neuropsychology Seminar, weekly Epilepsy Surgery conference, twice monthly Neuroradiology Conference, and a monthly psychology department fellowship seminar. Optional opportunities include Tumor Board and Grand Rounds.
Fellows also will be expected to complete readings in clinical neuropsychology, especially as they pertain to pediatric populations. Readings will be chosen for each Fellow in consultation with neuropsychology faculty. Additional didactic and experiential activities will be designed to meet the criteria set forth by the Houston Conference, as stipulated by APPCN.
Finally, the fellow also takes part in the clinical teaching duties of the Psychology Division as appropriate. During the second year of the training program, when the fellow is ordinarily preparing to obtain licensure as a psychologist in the State of Ohio, these duties will include clinical supervision of first-year postdoctoral neuropsychology fellows and of predoctoral psychology interns.
Supervision and Evaluation
The postdoctoral training program is directed by Doug Bodin, PhD, ABPP/CN. Supervisory faculty in the Pediatric Neuropsychology Program also include Jennifer Cass, PhD., ABPP/CN, Kelly McNally, Ph.D., and Keith O. Yeates, Ph.D., ABPP/CN. Supervision of in-patient consults on the rehabilitation and neurosciences units is provided by Kristen Gsanger, Ph.D., pediatric psychologist.
Dr. Bodin is responsible for all the activities of the fellow. He conducts annual evaluations of the fellow's progress, in conjunction with the neuropsychology faculty. Dr. Bodin provides an annual written summary of the Pediatric Neuropsychology Program faculty's evaluation to the fellow and to Dr. Yeates, who is the Director of the Division of Psychology.
Continuation beyond the first year of the fellowship is determined by the Pediatric Neuropsychology Program faculty and the other members of the Psychology Department. The fellowship shall ordinarily continue into a second year, although the final decision shall depend on the fellow's progress and accomplishments during the first 8 months.